One of the oldest names in American manufacturing plans to shutter its North Adams facility in June, stranding 270 employees and ending a more than two-century run in the Berkshires.

Crane Stationery, which traces its corporate lineage to a paper-making plant launched by Zenas Crane in 1801, plans to cease operations due to the impact both of the coronavirus and a decline in stationery use in the digital age.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that Dean Daigle, the company’s chief operating officer, announced the closing in an email to employees late Wednesday.

North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard told The Eagle he was called by an employee around 5:30 p.m. and has attempted, so far unsuccessfully, to reach company managers.

Bernard said of Crane Stationery.

It’s devastating news for a company that has a global reputation, We’re scrambling after-hours to find the questions we’ll be asking tomorrow.  I would love to find a way to see this decision changed so we don’t have to see our folks put in a vulnerable situation. The first priority here is taking care of our workforce.

Bernard said he will work to ensure that employees have access to all the government support available to them. He said he will press for the closing to be reconsidered. The plant is one of the largest employers in the city.

 

For generations, Crane Stationery has been considered a luxury brand and leader in its sector. Its line has included paper for boxed stationery, wedding invitations and special events cards.

Bernard said he plans to work with the county’s legislative delegation and with state workforce officials in the days to come.